Documents: Reckless murder case against ex-astronaut delayed

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James Halsell, Jr.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama judge has delayed the case of a former astronaut charged with reckless murder in a deadly car crash as lawyers work on a possible plea agreement.

An order issued Friday says a pretrial hearing for onetime NASA space shuttle commander James Halsell Jr. of Huntsville is being postponed from March 30 until June 1.

The defense requested a delay, saying attorneys are negotiating a possible settlement involving Halsell. A motion says the two sides also are still exchanging evidence.

The 60-year-old Halsell was arrested after a wreck June 6 killed Niomi James and 13-year-old Jayla Parler in a west Alabama county. Police reports show investigators believe alcohol and speed could be factors.

Halsell has pleaded not guilty in the crash and remains free on bond.

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